Preventing the Worst Case Scenario: An Analysis of RFID Technology and Infant Protection in Hospitals

Wyld, David C.
January 2010
Internet Journal of Healthcare Administration;2010, Vol. 7 Issue 1, p6
Academic Journal
In a typical year, five infants are abducted by strangers from hospitals. These are devastating events for the families involved and for the health care facilities' staff and executives. This article looks at the nature of newborn and infant abductions, analyzing data on these kidnappings from the FBI and from the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children. Then, the article examines the potential for RFID (radio frequency identification) based systems to improve security in the pediatric area of hospitals, providing an overview of the technology on the market today for infant protection. The article concludes with an analysis of the ROI (return on investment) equation for health care administrators to consider in weighing their options on how to prevent a statistically unlikely, but potentially cataclysmic occurrence, at their facility. In the end, RFID-based infant protection systems can be seen as a form of "security theater," serving as a "palliative countermeasure" that will indeed work • both substantively and psychologically • to promote a more secure hospital environment for moms and their newborns.


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